Moon Knight and Dead Boy Detectives

Thankfully, libraries have great comics collections these days. Sometimes I’ll go to my local one and pick up a few random Trade Paperbacks. There’s not necessarily an order to what’s on the shelves, but it’s a good opportunity to grab something I’ve been meaning to read for a while, or something that I’m curious about. My last two choices fall in to the latter category.

Moon Knight: Down South collects issues 26-30 which are the final issues of the 2006 series. I don’t know a lot about Moon Knight, and many compare him to the closest thing Marvel has to Batman, which is understandable.The character has been around since 1975 but has some things that set him apart from his fellow superheroes. Namely, his great white costume, the fact that he has multiple personalities (and secret identities!), and has  lunar/mystic theme to his identity and powers. I’ve read very little of the character, but I know the basics, but for anyone unfamiliar with Moon Knight, this will tell you what you need to know. Wiki will help too. There is a recap page which tells you about the events leading up to this, but essentially, MK is on the run and has “killed” one of his identities and is hiding out in Mexico.

2014-01-14 18.19.35

This was a surprisingly good read. Written by Mike Benson, and with art by Jefte Palo, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read. MK hardly appears in costume, until the end, and despite the cover, The Punisher only shows up for a few pages too. Most of this tale is focused on Jake Lockley and a job he’s been given, to rescue a Mexican land mogul’s daughter from some corrupt cops. Everyone isn’t who they seem, and the two luchadore brothers are  a great addition, and have real personalities. They could’ve been an annoying gimmick, but Benson makes them work, and Palo grants them great visuals, plus the amazing covers of the original issues by Gabriele Dell’otto are included here. (Mexican wrestling masks, Kevlar vests, and big guns). This is grim, bloody (but not overly so) and mature. There are a lot of adult themes and blanked out profanity here, but it’s all a great reminder that Moon Knight is an interesting character, as hopefully his latest series launch by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey will show when it debuts in March.

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Vertigo Previews

Despite the occasional rumour, DC’s long running imprint Vertigo is still alive. If you didn’t grab a free copy of the Vertigo Preview 2012 sampler from your local comic shop last week, then you can check out the  contents at the Vertigo blog.

There’s previews of the Fables spinoff Fairest, Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child, The New Deadwardians, and Saucer Country. All 4 series debut in March.

Extra Sequential Podcast #66-War

55 mins. War. What is it good for? We dive into the battlefield and how it’s been represented in comics of yesteryear and today.Plus, the wearing of shorts, head shapes and hammy thighs.

LISTEN TO IT HERE

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

GET IT ON ITUNES HERE

You can email us at kris (at)extrasequential(dot)com and befriend us on the NEW ES Facebook page.

1:17 NEWS

Neil Gaiman’s birthday

DC Comics licence plates

Cinebook publisher Olivier Cadic receives an Order of Merit

The new Asterix creative team

Akira film casting

7:13 THEME-WAR!

Frank Miller’s Holy Terror

Joe Sacco’s The Fixer

Vietnam set The Other Side, and Guerillas

Hans Von Hammer’s WW1 set tales in Enemy Ace

Sgt. Rock, DMZ, The ‘Nam, Semper Fi, Commando Comics, Nick Fury (whose Howling Commandos appear in the Captain America films)

The relaunched DC Comics’ Men of War series (that we didn’t mention!)

Transmetropolitan Art Book on Kickstarter

Yep, an official art book with the thumbs up, and participation, from the creators of the Vertigo series, Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. Some avid fans have set up the art book goal on project funding website Kickstarter and have some impressive names lined up as artists, such as Joe Benitez, Dan Brereton, Sam Kieth, Jeff Lemire and many more.

The pledging will end on Valentine’s Day next year (that’s February 14) and so far they’ve raised almost half of their $26, 000 goal to print a few thousand copies of the hard bound book. Get more info here.

Light of the Meta Day

Traditionally the second issue of a new series drops dramatically in sales. I can testify to that. I have countless #1s sitting in boxes, and that’s because I always like to give a new series a chance. Occasionally a new series will tick the right boxes and I’ll follow it through. Lately, I’ve discovered 3 such series.

The Light, simply put is awesome. Nathan Edmondson (Olympus) and Brett Weldele (The Surrogates) are creating the best work of their careers. This 5 part mini-series from Image is just magnificent in its storytelling simplicity. The elevator pitch would be something along the lines of, “troubled father and daughter try to survive a mysterious virus within light sources that is brutally killing anyone who looks directly into…the light.” Each issue has been better than the last, and that’s a rarity within any new mini. Edmondson knows just how to throw the right story morsels at the reader, leaving them wanting more. In this 3rd ish (of 5) Coyle and his daughter Avery run into 2 armed brothers, who are filled with confidence and a cavalier attitude to the madness surrounding them, ie, people dropping dead and the safety of darkness. My first reaction was to expect some sort of disturbing backstabbing behaviour from the pair, but Edmondson presents them as a helpful duo (though that may change next issue). That and the startling transformation of some victims into walking torches, and the effect of the virus on local birdlife proves that The Light is far more than just a cool concept without any surprises. See a preview here and you can also grab the first 2 issues in one new, handy book.

Meta4 is another 5 ish mini from Image. From creator Ted McKeever it is enjoyably weird, like a David Lynch film. Trying to explain it after just one issue in easy to grasp terms is somewhat difficult, but I’m hooked already. His sketchy art style should appeal to fans of Sam Kieth and he uses black and white with the same skill that Frank Miller does in Sin City. McKeever also worked on 3 books for DC’s Elseworlds line that re-imagined Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman through the lens of classic German Expressionist films. Man, I gotta get my hands on those. Well, Meta4 (assumedly a reference to “metaphor” which descriptions of future issues indicates) centres on an amnesiac dressed as an astronaut  who wanders in to a petrol station, gets accosted by a grotesque hillbilly and then saved by a manly woman dressed as Santa, whose name is Gasolina. So weird, yes but strangely mesmerising too. McKeever could go anywhere from here, and his experiments with captions, and symbols as speech works a treat.

Daytripper from Vertigo is a 10 issue mini-series. If you like Demo, then this is for you. Created by Brazilian brothers Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba (who worked with Matt Fraction on Casanova), the series follows former obituary writer and novelist Bras de Oliva Domingos throughout his life at different ages. This issue he attempts to track down an old college friend who mysteriously vanished years ago. Like every issue in this series, it looks like a vibrant dream and is filled with unexpected emotion.

Now That’s a Good Cover

From Vertigo’s official blog comes this look at the last issue (#8) of Joe the Barbarian from Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy. JTB #5 is out this month, so it’ll be a while before we see the final issue on shelves, but that certainly is a nice cover.

Vertigo Covers

Now at Graphic Content, the official blog for Vertigo are a bunch of cool covers from upcoming issues. I’ve posted my faves below, including Daytripper, Hellblazer, Madame Xanadu and The Unwritten.

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